Job Description:

Paralegals prepare legal documents, organise case files, and carry out research.

Job Category:

What you will do:

You could work for many kinds of employer, including law firms, private companies, the not-for-profit-sector, local or central government, the police and the courts. You’ll usually specialise in one area of legal work.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • researching and preparing legal documents
  • handling confidential information
  • interviewing clients and witnesses
  • giving clients legal information
  • going to court
  • handling a caseload of clients
  • following instructions
  • general office tasks


You’ll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to read English
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • administration & organisational skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Paralegal, specific qualifications are not mandatory. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial for preparing you for a career in the legal field. Paralegals often work in law firms, legal departments of organisations, or government agencies, and they assist lawyers with legal tasks. Here are some suggested qualifications that can help you on your path to becoming a Paralegal:

  1. English: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial in the legal profession. English can help you develop excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  2. Mathematics: While not directly related to law, mathematics skills can be valuable for tasks involving financial documents and calculations.
  3. Law-Related Subjects: Some schools offer courses in law or legal studies. Taking such courses can provide you with a basic understanding of legal concepts and terminology.
  4. History or Politics: These subjects can provide a foundation in political and historical contexts, which are relevant to understanding the development of laws and legal systems.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Basic computer skills are important for legal research, document preparation, and case management.
  6. Foreign Languages: If you plan to work in a diverse area or with clients who speak languages other than your native language, studying a foreign language can be an asset.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could study for a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in law, legal studies or paralegal practice.

There’s a lot of competition for places on law degrees, so you’ll need good grades in your entry qualifications.

You could take a college course before you look for work. UK Courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Legal Studies
  • CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice
  • NALP Level 3 Diploma in Paralegal Practice

You could take a paralegal advanced apprenticeship.

This typically takes 24 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and study.

You may be able to find work with a legal practice as an admin assistant and do training on the job to qualify.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, in an office. At busy times you may need to work longer. You may travel to meet clients or go to court.

Career Path & Progression:

With further study, you could qualify as a legal executive or solicitor.